Where do you feel the safest? Think about it for a minute……
I can imagine that you think of things like: in the arms of my beloved, in my house, in the arms of Jesus, in worship. Some will think of an actual place and others of a spiritual place.
The safest place to be is in the Kingdom of God, because of its eternal value, hope and unconditional love. My question is where is that Kingdom? I think its present in all of us as Jesus’ followers and we take it everywhere we go. So we are safe, when taking the Kingdom with us.
At yet when you look at Europe it seems like a place of desolation, despair, pain and not at all safe. Nations are scattered, politicians are wooed upon because of their opinions, people try to protect themselves by locking up their houses and staying for away from any stranger. The longing for a European Union seems to decrease every day. In many countries people vote for ultra-conservative governments. And yet at the borders of Europe there are people crying out for help, literally. And Europe is closing borders.
How great would it be if the whole world could be a safe place, because there is hope and love, because the kingdom of God is visible in society.
As European Christians we are excellent at creating beautiful church services and attracting many other Christians with those. We feel safe in our community we respect others and treat them respectfully, but it is generally better if we all stay in our own corner.
Is this the best way to practice Kingdom culture and transform the world? Should we escape the worldly culture, or should we adapt to that culture or should we actually engage with it? Living a missional lifestyle means that we influence others by who we are and what we do and say. Our lives are a reflection of Christ in us. We show the Kingdom. This will most likely not happen if we only invite people into our bubbles; it is much more likely to happen when we go into politics, engage with the arts, work in hospitals and businesses, it happens when we go to the borders of Europe, , to the sick and needy. Transforming our nations needs to happen outside our comfortable and predictable walls.
And I know it is really hard to be living testimony; because we are human. This means we will run into discouragement, sickness, fear and many other things. But still we are in the safest place and God is calling us to expand his Kingdom, and he promises us he will go with us.
Changing Europe means stepping out of our comfort zone, to show people the love of God. This may mean we have to do things we never thought we would do. This means we have to dream bigger than Sunday mornings. This means walking in the plan God has for our lives.
Make the church an incarnational church, be present in the local community and culture. Show hope, live hope, give hope.
At the coming Mission-Net Congress we would like to explore together with you how we can make the Kingdom of God visible. To explore how we can cross set boundaries, challenge our personal boundaries and transform Europe.
Written by Hester Zoutman – Director of Mission-net congress